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Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Editor-in-Chief: Renda-Tanali, Irmak

Managing Editor: McGee, Sibel, Ph.D.

4 Issues per year

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Homeland Security as an American Ideology: Implications for U.S. Policy and Action

Annette D Beresford Ph.D.1

1National White Collar Crime Center

Citation Information: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Volume 1, Issue 3, ISSN (Online) 1547-7355, DOI: 10.2202/1547-7355.1042, June 2004

Publication History

Published Online:
2004-06-01

"Homeland security" was a familiar term on Capital Hill before September 2001. Congressional documents show that the U.S. was referred to as "the homeland" as early as 1995, and the term "homeland security" was used extensively by 1998. After September 2001, however, the idea of homeland security (HLS) became a part of American thinking and behavior, and, arguably, an American ideology. Some of the implications of a HLS ideology are explored in this paper, using as a model Slavoj Zizek's "reconstruction of ideology." The analysis suggests that assertions associated with "homeland" and "security" have served as a basis for U.S. policy and action in a way that has obstructed the American imagination and excluded social and political alternatives that more closely reflect American aspirations. By redefining ideology as reflexive ideology, however, it may be possible to overcome these limitations and redefine the ways in which a belief system is developed and used.

Keywords: policy; ideology; terrorism; homeland security

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